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December 7

From Jane Rowe, executive vice-president of global risk management at Bank of Nova Scotia.

To CanWest

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"We were...left with the impression on Friday that either you or your colleagues or possibly CanWest's advisers may be of the belief that for historical relationship reasons Scotiabank would never take actions of a non-consensual nature against [CanWest]"

Subtext The bank may have backed CanWest founder Izzy Asper in the past, but if you don't file under the Companies Creditors' Arrangement Act (CCAA) now, we'll force you to do it.

***

January 4

From Leonard Asper

To Jane Rowe

"I profoundly disagree with an early CCAA filing.... It will in my view cause more employee turnover at LP [the newspaper division]and CMI [Global TV] Corporate uncertainty is the primary reason cited by departing employees, and the rate of such is increasing. Moreover, a filing now will crystallize in advertisers' minds the split between CMI and LP, thereby affecting revenue at LP by more than $20 million in my estimation."

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Subtext Please don't do this. It will only make things worse.

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January 6

From Jane Rowe

To Leonard Asper

"The information provided to us makes it unclear whether you have the corporate authority to make the proposals contained in your letter....In any event we remind you of the following facts: ...LP is insolvent. It is plain and obvious that it cannot support its massive debt, and that a transaction will have to occur that fundamentally alters the balance sheet of the newspaper business."

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Subtext We own you now. We are in charge.

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January 8

From Leonard Asper

To CanWest staff

"Good morning. After many months of productive discussions with our senior lenders, we have reached an agreement that will result in an orderly financial restructuring of our newspaper publishing and associated online and mobile operations."

Subtext Don't worry, this was our idea.

***

January 13

From Leonard Asper

To CanWest staff

"Today we reported the best operating results in a long time with operating profits of $202 million for the three months ended November 20, 2009. ... As expected, there were a lot of media stories about the Publishing group over the weekend but efforts to reach out to key stakeholders continues to pay dividends."

Subtext Please ignore the headlines in the financial press.

It's business as usual at CanWest.

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About the Author
Senior Writer

Grant Robertson is an award-winning journalist who has been recognized for investigative journalism, sports writing and business reporting. More

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